Mathematics

I’m not really a numbers person. The very basics I can do but beyond that it is well known that numbers and me don’t mix well. Numbers confuse me and today’s little stash re-arrangement is proof once again that the numbers just don’t make sense.

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I unpacked 12 tubs of yarn.

I catalogued 67 items on Ravelry (thanks to Sonia and her example!).

I listed 72,490 metres (OMG!) of yarn in my stash (fairly sure I have enough yarn to last me until I am 104!).

I packed up 8kg of yarn to donate to the Outback Baby Knitting Project.

And…

I repacked 12 tubs of yarn!

How does that work? 12 tubs minus 8kg equals 12 tubs?!?!?!?!

The listing on Ravelry was exhausting but ultimately quite liberating. There is proof for the world to see that I don’t need any more yarn and shopping the stash has been made a whole lot easier! I did manage to destash some acrylic blend that I am sure will make an Outback baby very happy.  I also embarrassingly discovered that I had WAY MORE Wollmeise than I thought I had (bonus!), probably enough Noro for a blanket (Yay!), a few garments worth of Pear Tree from Bendigo a few years ago and a whole tub of single sock skeins.

Now… to browse Ravelry for projects!

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Cables and things

As far as knitting bucket lists go, cables were somewhere close to the top of the list along with entrelac. I think I had always assumed cable knitting was hard and confusing. It looks so impressive. After a long search for an iPad mini sleeve that could hold the iPad WITH a cover, I thought “Hey… I can make one!”

I found a pattern on Ravelry but it had cables and that freaked me out. That said, I thought I would give it a go. Ended up using about 30cm short of a ball of Jo Sharp Classic DK (it was in the stash so that was a bonus).

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There is a tiny, little error in one of the cables (front instead of back). But overall I am happy with the result and am now starting to look for patterns with cables!

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My ‘love/hate’ relationship with Jitterbug

I have finished Howlcat with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (Black) and Jitterbug (October Afternoon). Would probably choose different colours (ie not black) the next time. While I reconciled myself to the welt like stripes on my fingers when I was knitting, I was convinced that a good rinse or two would resolve the bleeding of Jitterbug. I washed it 11 times and it was still giving some colour. Have given up getting a clear rinse from that. Will try washing future skeins and the old vinegar trick. I love the way Jitterbug knits up. Its still my favourite of the sock yarns I have knit so far… BUT… the colour issue remains a challenge.

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I’m down to 3 WIPs – two blankets and a pair of socks. Resisting the urge to cast on again. Need to find a patterns that I love!

Stock Standard Baby Gift

There is something in the air or water or both. Almost everyone I know is having a baby and I am finding myself searching Ravelry for baby patterns. I keep coming back to Debbie Bliss’ Ribbed Baby Jacket. This is probably my 5th jacket. Getting better with the side seams but still not thrilled with the sleeves. I have since read that there are modifications that might make this look a little better. I understand that a few others have knitted this recently too. Just about to cast on the 6th for another friend who is having a baby in December. This one is Bendigo 8ply with buttons from Wondoflex.

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NQR Knitting

Sometimes it happens that the project is ‘Not Quite Right’ (NQR) for whatever reason. Either the yarn isn’t quite what you wanted it to be or somehow the combination of yarn and pattern aren’t the match made in heaven that you intended. Such was my dilemma over Jo Sharp Silkroad DK and a scarf pattern. The scarf is for my cousin in the US. I particularly wanted the wool/cashmere blend for him and yet whichever pattern I swatched for didn’t quite excite me.

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The Silkroad DK doesn’t create a well-defined stitch so anything that relied heavily on the stitch itself didn’t look that great. I started the scarf in a simple moss stitch and that was too simple. Finally, thanks to my Ravelry friends I decided on the Mini Mania scarf.

The beauty of this pattern is you can escape the 400+ purls by simply sliding the scarf back to the beginning and continuing with another length of yarn (creating tassels along the way). While I am sure this will look much better in the multi-coloured yarns it was intended for, its working quite well with the Silkroad DK and finally NQR has become QR.

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Catching the Wollmeise Bug!

I finally succumbed, happened to be on the site at the right time and scored 4 skeins of Wollmeise. No real surprises with the colours for me. Not entirely sure what the grey will become but I love that it’s called ‘In the Year of the Rat’! I can actually now see myself up at a ridiculous hour waiting for the store update to score a variegated skein… or three!

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When Pleasure turns to Pain

I know I hate ‘sewing up’. There is nothing about seams or blanket stitch that appeals to be on any level. And yet I still chose a pattern that required every seam sewn. The knitting itself was fine (it’s a gift for a colleague who is having a baby), and then the pleasure turned to pain when ‘finishing’ involved sewing up the seams. It took a ridiculously long time to do, I am bad at it and all in all I am less thrilled with the end result – mainly because the sewing up is ‘shoddy’. Sigh… there is a lesson here in sticking to your strengths! There is also a lesson in finally getting some ‘lessons’ in sewing up properly!

Knitting with Love

There is a little bit of love in all we knit. We consider the recipient, choose the yarn and pattern with great thought, agonise over whether we have made the right choice and then stop periodically to reassess. The hours we spend gift knitting is an act of love in itself – for the craft, for the fibre and for the recipient. Knowing all that we have knit in the past, look at this amazing project. What an extraordinary gift and a real heirloom.

Why we knit

I am thrilled that Sonia has the Richmond Knitters ‘stuff’ up on CafePress. I am slowly collecting a range of CafePress items but my favourite so far runs the tag line “iKnit so I don’t kill people’. I have this mug prominently placed on my desk at work and it gets a few nervous looks from students who wonder whether sitting down across my desk is really such a good idea. While I genuinely don’t have homicidal thoughts, knitting certainly helps keep my frustration with the universe (and people) at bay. There is something about the focus that knitting requires that means that you need to push every other little concern aside. So while it is true that I knit so I don’t kill people, I knit for many other reasons too, not the least of which is that it puts me in touch with the knitting sisterhood that is very special indeed.

The Magic of Noro

Having returned more actively to knitting I have also fallen in love (again) with Noro. The colour changes are mesmerizing and it also acts as an incentive to keep knitting to see just how and when the transition will occur. I haven’t braved a Noro garment yet (although I did for a toddler and that was fine). I am working on a Baktus variation at the moment and keen to try a few other wraps, shawls and blankets for the winter. The niggling elements of Noro, though still there (variation in thickness, random colours and knots) are well and truly eclipsed by the magic of the colour. That a yarn manufacturer can actually get away with random colours and knots in a skein and still have such an avid following is testament to the fact that they have hit on the winning formula – knitters will always swoon to colour and once swooning, are more likely to forgive other failings. That said, I haven’t yet found the mustard yellow length in my skein of green-blue Noro Silk Garden Sock and only one knot so far. If you haven’t tried Noro, give it a go for a scarf – maybe the Clapotis. You will love it!